Friday, March 06, 2009

Container Garden: Parsley Problem Solving

So I did some research on why my parsley isn't germinating as fast as the basil and tomato.

According The Weekend Gardener, the problem is that I am impatient. Parsley's approximate germination time is 21 days.

My lack of patience aside, from a discussion at the Garden Guides I culled a few tips. First, make sure you keep the seeds moist, but not wet. Second, keep them dark until the first few start coming up, and only then expose them light. This is allegedly because parsley is one of many plants whose seeds are inhibited by light. Dude, they're under a quarter inch of dirt? Is it SUNNY down there? And third, what I already did apparently to no avail: soak them overnight in water that starts out lukewarm. So other than drowning my seeds in wet soil and keeping them in a sunny window, they should be fine.

I have removed the parsley from the clam shell container it was in with the basil and tomato and placed it in a container which once held a pound of chili from Whole Foods. Separating it from the tomato and basil, which need really odd things like water and sunlight, will allow me to water the parsley less and hide it in darkness. I am now keeping my parsley in a relatively unused kitchen cabinet (right between my favorite blue bowl which I love so much I refuse to use it and the little metal trays that came with the toaster oven).

For additional parsley reading, I highly recommend an excellent article by John W. Jett from the WVU Extension Service. It includes the fabulous line, "Even today, the germination of parsley seeds seems a bit mystical." Indeed it does, Mr. Jett, indeed it does. By any chance are you related to Joan?

If you can translate from British, have a seed propagator, and are not easily intimidated, the Times (I assume, of London) Online has an intense article on how to spend all your time, money, and energy trying to grow parsley.

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